A few random thoughts during this special time of year….

Posted on December 14, 2009. Filed under: The 'C' Word |

As mentioned in my most previous post (Odds, and what I’ve actually accomplished – December 13, 2009) I talked about beating the odds for colon cancer.  If that’s not enough to get you thinking about your own health, then – what else could?

Let’s make no mistake – the preparation FOR a conoloscopy sucks.  It’s not fun.  But, it’s only about 4 –6 hours of hard work, and then you’re pretty much out for the actual procedure.  If there are no issues with your preparation, then the actual colonoscopy itself takes about 15 minutes. Yes, you’re going to get a camera stuffed up your butt, however – remember you’re not remembering any of this.  Really.  I promise.  The actual time you spend getting ready FOR the procedure once you get to the Doctor’s office that will perform the procedure takes about 4 times as long as the actual procedure.

Oh, and if you have relatively decent insurance, it’s going to be covered.  If it’s not – start shopping for new insurance, because – let’s be honest….  It’s cheaper to detect early and cure rather than detect later and then have to go through chemo, radiation, and surgery.  But, as we are finding out through this whole mess called the “Health Care Reform” bill, some insurance is pretty retarded, much like the so-called recommendations about breast cancer screenings being changed completely – and would have ended up with 100’s to 1000’s of women dying due to cancer not caught in time.  The basic concept of insurance is to take as much of your money and pay out as little as possible.  That’s the business plan – and your health is really not their concern.  If you doubt that – then, I’m not sure the rest of this conversation is going to make any sense anyway.

Can you see that I’m being a bit of a militant radical when it comes to early detection and screening?  Going through what I have (the massive up’s and down’s – with the final thrill ride at the end of a Surgeon literally walking on air as he came in to my hospital room to tell me “We got it all!  You are no longer a cancer risk from this tumor!”) since 9/24/2009 when I first found out about this tumor – and knowing the right decisions on my part and my Primary Care Physician (by the way – his name is Joedy Istas, M.D. and I’d be honored if his patient load went up because of me…..  He’s already heavily in demand…  Don’t blame me if you can’t get an appointment with him.  He IS that good.) and my surgeon (Dr. M. Shashidharan, Colon and Rectal Surgery, Inc. [just call him Dr. Shasi {Sa’-shee}, everyone does – colleagues and patients alike]and he does colonoscopies as well, as you might suspect) contributed to an astounding outcome.  And, contrary to my usual nature, I didn’t procrastinate for a year or five before going and getting the colonoscopy.  As mentioned, I hit the lottery on this one.  The odds were not in my favor on this.

As my brother-in-law, John, who has lost more friends and relatives to cancer than I, famously says “F#%k you, Cancer!”, I get to add my own, which I’ve used in more than a few places.  Thanks for letting me borrow this, John:  “F#%k you, Cancer!  I WIN!!!”

But, I do have to give a nod to friends and relatives who are either currently fighting or have lost their battle, and I am forever indebted to for their contributions to what the medical community knows about cancer:

Richard T. Kingslan, Sr. (Passed 1995)

Kelly Hendrickson (Passed 1998)

Ron Pieters  (Passed 2008)

Eleanor Jones (Passed 2009)

Matt Kamprath (Passed 2009)

Bill Greve (Still fighting)

My final plea – give money to the American Cancer Society.  Research into cancer is really, really good.  What the Doctors know today as compared to 5 years ago is – simply stunning. 

Get your colonoscopy – even though you feel fine and seem to think you’re immortal.  I hope I’m not bursting any bubbles – you’re not immortal.  But, you kinda want to die really old – or at least doing something you like.  And, I’m sure that none of those I’ve named really liked dying of cancer. Seeing the strongest man I’ve ever known, my father, wither from his cancer was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  And, I don’t want you or any of your loved ones to have to see your die in such a miserable and painful way.

Get tests… Avoid cancer like you would the plague. And, if anything – be like me and realize that you have a second lease on life – and now you have to figure out what your mission is.

I think, in some ways, you can likely figure out what my life mission is going to be. If I can save one person, I get to tell cancer “F#%k you!” once more.  Make no mistake – that’s fun – and very, very fulfilling.

Rick

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